The American Academy of Pediatrics Just Released Guidelines for Schools Opening in the Fall

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Let’s just address the elephant in the room; one of the biggest concerns many parents are curious about is when and if schools will return in the fall.

It’s finally summer and it feels like it has taken forever to get here. Even though it’s technically summer vacation season, it can’t be summer without back to school commercials beginning in August.

Considering that it is officially July, most schools typically go back in late August or the beginning of September and to prepare for school, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), has recently released their recommended guidelines that also fall within CDC recommendations.

Starting with remote learning, the AAP encourages in-person schooling to address racial and social inequity.

“Evidence from spring 2020 school closures points to negative impacts on learning. Children and adolescents also have been placed at higher risk of morbidity and mortality from physical or sexual abuse, substance use, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation, says the AAP.”


The AAP also recommends children who are returning to school, should wear cloth face coverings and masks.

Schools should administer temperature checks, remind students of social distancing in classes, hallways and on buses too. It is also recommended that student’s immunization schedules should be up to date.

With that being said, the AAP has also stated that schools should consider the pros and cons regarding social distancing and how feasible that is during school hours.

The AAP has suggested a few strategies according to age to make social distancing as easy as possible.

To start, pre-kindergarten students should consider cohort classes, spending time outdoors, and limiting visitors inside of the building.

Elementary school students are recommended to wear face masks, desks that are appropriately spaced, utilizing outdoor space, and cohort classes are also suggested.

Finally, secondary school students are recommended by the AAP to wear face masks, avoid close proximity, going outdoors whenever possible and again, considering cohort classes.

It is recommended for students to reduce congestion inside school buildings by social distancing in enclosed spaces such as buses, playgrounds, cafeterias, and creating one-way hallways.

Assigned seats on busses, encouraging alternate transportation, and minimizing the number of students on busses has been suggested by the AAP as well.

During lunch, students should be divided by cohort when eating their meals and utilizing lunch periods in classrooms or eating their meals outdoors.

For now, it’s obvious that when schools return students and teachers schedules will be changed for as long as needed to stop and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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